Burmite Amber Grading System

Please note: We are only talking about the grading of amber from Myanmar.

 

There are two categories that need to be graded.

 

  • Amber used for Jewelry

 

  • Amber with prehistoric inclusions

 

Here are the main factors for grading both amber for jewelry and amber with inclusions.

 

  • The size of the amber - generally speaking a large amber will cost more then smaller pieces. Some amber is sold by the gram up to $100 per gram.

  • Clarity of the amber - Clear amber is the most valuable. The value decreases as cloudiness increases.

  • Color - the most common color in Burmite amber is opaque brown and is the least valuable. Yellow and orange are the next most valuable with red, tea green and blue the most valuable.

  • Cracks and ghost inclusions - Cracks are not common in Burmite in general but should there be one, it will be pointed out in the description with a decreased value. Ghost inclusions are much more common and are often mistaken for cracks. Ghost inclusions are inclusions that are no longer visible. They have no structural loss. An interesting side note is that these ghost inclusions are sometimes so beautiful that it may actually increase the value.

  • Nondescript inclusions generally are less valuable than clear amber but an unusual and beautiful inclusion can be very valuable.

  • Shape - carving, faceting or shaping can add value as it can enhance the natural beauty of that particular piece.

  • Uniqueness - some specimens are just going to occur once in nature never to be duplicated.

 

Amber with prehistoric inclusions are graded by size, color, clarity, preservation and rarity of the inclusion. A wasp for example can be found for as little as $20 with poor preservation but a new species of wasp in clear amber with excellent preservation is going to fetch far more. A scientifically studied and cataloged specimen is always highly valued.

 

The criteria for grading amber with inclusions with insects, plants, flowers, seeds, eggs, and pterosaurs include:

 

  • Rarity of inclusion

  • Preservation of inclusion

  • Multiple inclusions within the same piece

  • Action within such as swarming, mating, fighting

  • Size of the inclusion

  • Position of inclusion within the amber

  • An inclusion that is unknown and a mystery

  • Scientific value

 

Each of these factors influences the price.

 

We are using the following grading verbiage… Poor, Fair, Good, Excellent, and Museum quality along with a description and reasoning for the rating.

 

In this way you can feel confident in your purchases knowing that you are getting what you pay for.

 

A Certificate of Authenticity is also available. We issue our own certificates and welcome your choice of gem lab for further verification on any piece. All of the amber being offered is authentic Burmite amber from Myanmar, not treated or heated. Real Burmite amber does not need these enhancements. 

MAM... Amber as art